Monday, 4 May 2020

Domestic Violence.

      Domestic violence is no new phenomena it has been part and parcel of our society for many a generation. It is born out of patriarchy and festers away in what is often thought of as a "normal" home. It is another symptom of our unjust, unequal, sick society, so often people will turn away when they see or hear it manifest itself, it is somehow seen as a private affair. We always seek to eradicate aggressive and unprovoked violence in our society, we should remember, the home is a unit of our society. This pandemic lockdown has made the life of those at the receiving end of domestic violence all the more precarious, sometimes escape seems impossible, and that is when friends and neighbours should come in.
      This is an appeal for solidarity with those subject to domestic violence, with some helpful advice from Greece.
The following from Act For Freedom Now:

       In this time of Covid-19, during the State-imposed lockdown and transport ban, the cases of domestic violence in Greece have increased. It was to be expected -now it’s even harder to escape. The myth of the “holy nuclear family” takes for granted that staying at home is always the safest, but for many of us being with our families or partners is just as threatening as being out there. In the odd silence of the city, the screams we can hear from the neighbouring houses aren’t getting any quieter. Domestic violence is not just a “couple’s problem”, an “issue for the family to resolve” or a “private affair”. All forms of violence against children, partners, family members or housemates are never justified, except when it’s for self-defence against the aggressor.
Every year, patriarchy kills more than any other virus.
     If you are experiencing violence, physical or otherwise, and you are quarantined with your aggressor/s, we tried to put together some suggestions:
• Practice how to get safely out of the house.
• Create a sign to use for emergencies with your neighbours.
• Find people who understand and support you and a safe space, to take refuge in.
•Try to resist! If you can’t do anything, it’s totally ok too, it’s not your fault, you’re not alone.
       If you witness domestic violence which doesn’t target or threaten you and you don’t intervene or speak out, you support the aggressor.
        What you could do:
•Try to create a connection with the person targeted by the violence.
• Offer your space as shelter
• If the person agrees, call out or confront the aggressor.

Anti Covid19 – Network for Mutual Aid and Struggle
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  1. Not always patriarchy - sometimes it can be a lethal combination of a narcissistic person who also feels deeply and resentfully inferior. Their need to control others (usually the person who lives with them) and to diminish them, can't be easily altered. It's often dangerous to challenge them as their reactions can be extremely erratic.

    Therefore 'try to resist' and 'you are not alone' would not safely apply. To 'resist' could tip the situation into freefall - and while you are in that space with them, you most certainly ARE alone..

    Be careful of 'If you don't intervene or speak out you support the aggressor' - it's important not to JUST intervene or speak out as that can inflame the aggressor and put the victim into even more danger. The suggestions of 'what you could do' are a crucial follow up, but remember the victim may be terrified to speak of it, even to acknowledge it - fear that the aggressor will find out is often a huge factor and may influence their ability to view options objectively.

    Also there are often insidious, seemingly (to the victim) unbreakable fetters binding them to their aggressor - it can sometimes take years of support and counselling before the person is strong enough to break free.

  2. I agree with each point you make, I think the points the article was trying to make was try and let the individual know that there is support out there, if and when they feel they can take advantage if and when they feel it is safe to do so. They do add about resit, again only if you feel it is safe to do so. To intervene doesn't mean to jump in and become part of it, more trying to let the individual know that you are there should they feel they can make that contact. Obviously we can't just ignore the situation and what ever action we may take must be with the victims safety in mind. Yes it is a very difficult situation and has a variety of causes, patriarchy is certainly one, yes there are a whole gambit of causes, patriarchy may have sound rather simplistic but it is a factor.Nobody has the perfect answer all we can do is let the individual know that there will be support if and when they decide to take action, rather than leave them in limbo, our signals can be there but they must take that first step themselves knowing that there will be support might just make it that little bit easier.

  3. agreed, absolutely. Was in no way criticising the post (nothng simplistic about it - totally necessary and welcome) just adding a slightly different experience to it

  4. It is always helpful to shine a light on the many and varied tentacles of domestic violence, the more we discuss and make public these variations the more likely are are to see it more fully understood and start to be remedied. Thanks for your contribution.